I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Emperor’s Edge, and the fun continues in Dark Currents. Buroker has developed a good, solid framework of society that isn’t thrown off kilter with the inclusion of magic—a magic that is referred to in Amaranthe’s world as “science.” Her writing style is smooth and engaging, neatly balancing narrative and dialogue. The characters continue to capture the reader’s interest. What’s more, they develop even further—no cardboard cutouts here! They are each wonderfully detailed and clearly different from one another, and the fact that they are not all always comfortable and heroic makes them even more believable. When one of them goes out of his comfort zone in order to get something important accomplished, it *means* something.
The quality of writing style, grammar, punctuation, formatting, characterization, setting—all are top notch. The story is a quick read, not too long and it’s fast-paced. There are some wonderfully quirky twists and surprises, though the antagonists remained slightly distant and nebulous. If I have one complaint it’s about the gratuitous crass innuendoes. They felt like a forced afterthought and could honestly (and beneficially) have been left out altogether. Their inclusion puts this book on the borderline for recommendation on my list of Flinch Free Fantasy. Otherwise, the humor and the exchange of barbs had me laughing out loud in places. Buroker has a knack for telling a good tale.